Nitrates in cured meats, GMOs, artificial sweeteners, hydrogenated oils, sugar-packed snacks and so many other toxic ingredients can be found in every day foods. Today many people are saying, "Enough already!" and choosing to "eat clean." But what does that mean, exactly? Think of it as getting back to basics and choosing foods that have been processed as little as possible, whether that means opting for whole grains instead of refined ones or buying chicken raised without antibiotics.
Whether you're hoping to lose weight or simply maintain your health as you age, eating clean makes up a key component of a healthful lifestyle. Loading up your diet with minimally processed, whole foods -- such as whole grains, veggies, fruits, nuts, legumes, fatty fish and lean meats -- not only provides nutrients to support healthy cell function but also helps fight chronic disease. Cutting unhealthy foods out of your diet offers benefits because compounds found in unhealthy, processed foods can increase your disease risk.
Here are 8 ways a clean eating diet will help you feel good:
1. You'll Have Healthy Gums And Teeth
Digestion begins in the mouth, so it may come as no surprise that healthy gums and teeth are a by-product of a clean diet. Eliminating sticky, sugary foods and sweetened beverages helps maintain a healthy environment in your mouth and cuts the risk of developing cavities and gingivitis.
2. Fantastic Flavor
Once you start regularly eating clean, you might be surprised by how “off” processed food tastes. Many foods in the conventional American diet are loaded with ingredients like sodium and other additives, which mask natural flavors. Some processed foods have a chemical aftertaste you won’t notice until your taste buds are accustomed to eating clean.
3. Weight Loss
One of the joys of eating foods that are close as possible to be in the form that nature gave them to us, is that your body tends to thrive and stay slim almost effortlessly! Sometimes there are hormonal issues involved with not being able to lose weight, but getting in tune with your body and sticking with a healthy lifestyle long enough will eventually let you heal.
4. Feel More Energetic
A healthful diet that properly nourishes your body helps you feel energetic and productive. Several nutrients, including the B-complex vitamins and iron, help your cells access fuel so that they can function properly. Eating clean also helps regulate your blood sugar, helping you avoid fatigue-inducing blood sugar spikes, which can occur after you eat processed carbohydrates, such as sweets or refined grains.
5. You'll Feel More Full
Eating a well-balanced combination of whole grain carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats will evenly provide energy for your body over the course of several hours, letting your hunger cues rest. A quick DIY turkey and avocado sandwich on whole grain bread at lunch could ditch that afternoon slump and dismiss the urge to visit the vending machine. Including this winning combo of nutrients in every meal and snack can prevent the overeating that leads to feeling bloated and uncomfortable.
6. Pumped-Up Brain Power
A clean diet nurtures your most important organ: the brain. Whole foods deliver nutrients like B vitamins that boost brain function and antioxidants that support memory and attention.
7. Better Sleep
Eating clean get your body in balance and also helps with hormones, which in turns helps with things like sleep quality. And your body is spending less time having to repair and heal damage while you sleep, so you’ll wake feeling so refreshed.
8. Support Mental Health
A healthful diet not only benefits your physical well-being, but it supports your mental health. Some of the nutrients from your diet -- such as vitamin B-6, help make dopamine, a chemical involved in feelings of pleasure. Omega-3 fatty acids also support good mental health, while a deficiency can cause moodiness and depression. Limiting caffeine can also improve mental health and not skipping meals can avoid stress headaches or stomachaches.
The concept of clean eating is surprisingly simple: eat only healthy, whole, and unprocessed foods. By doing this, you are starting a holistic lifestyle that is designed to optimize your health and wellness. In this post, I shared with you 8 ways a clean eating diet will help you feel good.
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